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Posted on 6/03/07 10:27 PM
This film illustrates this point perfectly. There are many things to find horrific in this film version of Tracey Letts's play, "Bug". Unfortunately, these things will be dismissed by those going in expecting to see a cheesy FX monster movie that is literally about bugs. And in a way you can't blame them. Yes, they were misled by the advertisers who have little faith in there being an audience for a play to screen psycho-drama about the horrific dangers of paranoia, loneliness and fear itself. Nope, Hollywood, we want us some big bad creepy crawlies! Get 'er done!
I do think this HUGE mistep on the studio's part led to SOME of the negative reviews that seem to keep tipping it towards a rotten rating. Although I'm sure it wouldn't have been overwhelmingly positive, (it's not for everybody), at least it could've had a better chance at getting the critical respect it deserves.
But onto the movie...
If you know what you're getting into when you get to the theater, you won't mind all the "talking and shit". It takes place pretty much solely inside Ashley Judd's character's dingy motel room. There are places where some of the filming feels stagey, but I found this entirely appropriate due to the claustrophobic feel of the film. Also, William Friedkin never lets the dialogue lag or the pacing get too groggy. It is an intense, intense emotional mindfuck that clips along and I give major props to the 2 leads who carry us into the inevidible and appropriately chaotic conclusion.
By the way, it is really friggin' sad that the guy who co-carries this movie, Michael Shannon, doesn't even get his name up with Ashley Judd's on the RT listing...Harry Connick Jr. did good and all, but this wasn't his movie.
The one thing that really struck me about it was the almost natural, 70's style visual direction, (not the over-the-top homage to the 70's kind), and the creepiness this invoked. I don't know if it carries over from his previous work in horror, but Friedkin has a knack for it and I like it. I can almost compare this kind of horror to the kind that you'd find in a John Cassavettes film.
So this poor movie continues to get beat up by an audience that Friedkin never intended it for. It's really a shame because I was blown away the same way I was blown away when I saw "Opening Night" for the first time. Misunderstood as hell and it deserves better. Already in its second week, they've cut down to showing it only once a day at 10:10 PM. A LOT of theaters have done this. Sad.